Sioux Lookout hosts Bontrager family singers as part of 2018 summer tour
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
Sioux Lookout is one of many tour stops for the Bontrager family singers this summer. The family band performed for residents at the Town Beach on June 27. Their last concert in Sioux Lookout was five years ago.
“We had them up here in 2013 as part of the Blueberry Festival. It went over really well at that time, and it was impressive to see their big family perform. This time, they contacted us to come back up here because they were in Dryden for their tour the night before,” explained Susan Hochstedler, who helped organize the concert.
Hochstedler is familiar with the family because she is second-cousins with Marlin Bontrager who leads the family band, which includes his ten children and his wife Becky.
Hochstedler said she was shocked by the number of residents who remembered the Bontragers from their first visit in 2013.
“I was surprised at how many people remembered them from five years ago. Everybody that was there that evening enjoyed it. People were happy because the group makes a good effort to interact with the crowd after the show,” she said.
The Bontragers tour all across Canada, the United States and Mexico singing gospel music. When they’re not touring, the family lives in the small-town of Kalona, Iowa, which has a population of just over 2,500 people. Hochstedler said the family feels at home in a small-town environment and they carry good memories of Sioux Lookout from their experience performing at the Blueberry Festival.
“They love the small-town feel and they like the area up here. They even remember the first time they came to town in 2013. The family mentioned that they miss going blueberry picking and fishing from when they were first up here,” said Hochstedler.
The Bontragers are performing throughout Ontario until July 9, which is when they start to take their tour to the U.S. with stops in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan.
To see tour dates, buy their music, donate to their family ministry or to learn more about the Bontragers, visit their website at https://bontragerfamilysingers.com/index.html.